Guest post by Daniel Smith, currently a Heritage Action intern.
Two energy industries—one perennially vilified and the other persistently glorified—are currently hashing out their differences under the guise of an ongoing battle in Congress over pork barrel farm bills and food stamp spending.
Buoyed by a meteoric rise in supply, oil seems well positioned to outmaneuver the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and farmers’ unions supporting ethanol subsidies, as pressure to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues to mount. Four months of bipartisan reviews conducted by Congress have created the impetus for the EPA to consider serious reform to the much maligned RFS.
The Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728) would help promote American jobs and energy creation by limiting the regulations from the Administration on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” a process used to extract oil and natural gas. The bill prohibits the Interior Department from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has regulations and recognizes states’ authority to regulate this type of activity.
The Heritage Foundation explains that fracking produces massive benefits and poses minimal risk. For example, they note that according to “a 2012 report from the economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight, unconventional shale oil and gas alone supports more than 1.7 million jobs, which is expected to increase to 3 million jobs as soon as 2020.” They add that “80 percent of new natural gas wells drilled domestically in the next decade will require fracking.”
H.R. 2728 would maintain the states’ ability to regulate fracking, which they have effectively done for decades, without burdensome, excessive, and costly federal regulation.
Use this form to email your Representative with the message that the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act should be supported:
The left’s vision for America has failed us. All too often, the left puts the interests of special interest groups before the American people’s needs. Such is quite obviously the case in the energy sector. Lobbying groups and special interest groups in the green energy sector have a vested financial interest in seeing the decline of oil and gas production. Liberal politicians bow to their demands, and often, to the demands
of radical environmentalists
We recently announced our key vote (here
) against the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013
) introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeanne ShaheenSenate Democrat Average9%
and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rob PortmanSenate Republican Average57%
. Thursday during debate on the Senate floor, these two senators made remarks in favor of their legislation.
Sen. Portman said, “this is not about ‘Washington knows best.”
We beg to differ with the Senators. In our key vote we explained:
Like most government-initiated efficiency programs, this one is fatally flawed because it is based on the idea that businesses and families will act irrationally unless the government intervenes. This inappropriate intervention comes in the form of voluntary federal mandates and taxpayer funded subsidies. As Heritage notes, only the free-market has been proven to decrease costs and increase efficiency in energy production.
We all have to eat and use various forms of energy to survive and live well in America. So should the quotas and rules and regulations handed down from Washington make it harder for us to do so? No! But that’s what’s happening.
Did you know the law currently dictates to Americans that there must be 15 billion gallons (and no more) of corn-based ethanol and another 21 billion gallons of non-corn biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply by 2022?
If that sounds absurd to you, it’s because it is.
Conservatives certainly don’t want Americans to have to pay more for food and energy. In order to decrease costs, Heritage’s Nicolas Loris suggests that Congress should completely end the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).